JIS News

Senior Director of Policy Planning and Development in the Ministry of Mining and Telecommunications, Oral Rainford, is calling upon persons in the mining sector to prepare to benefit when a rebound takes place by 2010.
“The mining sector is expected to rebound by 2010, so the time is opportune to get ready to reap the benefits and be in the forefront of planning and investments”, Mr. Rainford said at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ session yesterday (February 5), to inform of activities scheduled for Minerals Week.
“Investment in limestone mining from raw material to the value-added product can be a very valuable investment, leading to an average increase in the unit value from US$10.00 per tonne for construction grade limestone aggregate, to an average of US$120.00 per tonne for lime,” said Engineering and Management Consultant and member of the National Minerals Week Committee, Norman Davis, who also spoke at the JIS ‘Think Tank’ session.
Mr. Davis said that in 2008, Jamaica produced 305,000 tonnes of limestone aggregate and imported 90,000 tonnes at a value of US$120.00 per tonne to meet a shortfall. He said that Jamaica could increase production, if local capacity was beefed up. One way, he suggested, would be to restore closed operations and upgrade those in operation, noting that many operations had machinery which were 20-40 years old.
One aim of National Minerals Week is to broaden awareness of possibilities for increased production and earnings in the sector, by looking at modernisation in the face of local and global challenges. This is reflected in the theme of the week and its range of activities.
Mr. Davis added that lime was one of the most widely used, value-added products which demand continued to outstrip production. Lime is used in pharmaceuticals, construction equipment, food such as flour and sugar, paint and numerous other products.
The challenges facing the minerals sector and the required solutions for development will be discussed during the week at the many events, including Town Meetings, which will allow for the widest public participation.

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